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5 Inbound Marketing Techniques Every Startup Need to Know

By jiathong on April 19, 2018

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5 Inbound Marketing Techniques Every Startup Need to Know

Creating a startup is no easy work, we are well aware of that. That’s why we have this list of 5 inbound marketing techniques that can help you break through the noise and reach the audience you want.

Why inbound marketing you ask? Well, first of all, inbound marketing costs relatively lower compared to outbound marketing like tv advertising.

    For a startup, you probably can’t allocate as much budget as you would like on marketing. Which is why the low-cost aspect of inbound marketing is so important to a startup business.

What’s more, the effect of inbound marketing is long term and long lasting. By buying advertisement you’re just renting a temporary place to showcase your product or your brand.

But the core of inbound marketing is having customers coming to you instead of vice versa. By putting out content that interests your targeted crowd, you ensure yourself an audience and a group of potential customers.

As the masterminds at HubSpot put it, inbound marketing is “The best way to turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business”. If you’re launching a startup, or already own one, inbound marketing can be your best friend.

If you don’t want to get swallowed by the waves of startups out there, here are the 5 inbound marketing techniques that you need to know.

1.Create free content, gain leads

inbound technique 1

Create contents that your targeted audience would want to know, such as…

  • Guide
  • Ebook
  • Video
  • Product review
  • Infography
  • Checklist
  • Grading tool
  • Blog title/keyword/URl/etc generator
  • Industry news update
  • Slideshows

Inbound marketing starts with content. Not just any content but relevant content.

Think about it. Why would I want to know the 20 most popular knitting pattern of 2017 when I’m actually looking for a lipstick? The list of “it” lip colors on the latest New York fashion week sounds more like it, right? That would be correct if you’re running a makeup e-commerce site and someone like me (age 20s – 40s, female) is a part of your targeted audience.

Create a list of persona who is your targeted audience. Think of what concerns them. Write about it. Don’t just keep creating content for the sake of content. You gotta work smart not just work hard.

List of targeted persona as potential customer of startup

Here’s what you can do.

Create a blog. Like we did, like HubSpot did, like Danny Brown did.

Set a tone. Now this concerns your targeted persona and your branding. HubSpot gives mostly informative articles, guides, and tips. While Danny Brown tends to get a little more personal, he talks about his family, his home renovation updates etc.

Why are they so different?

Hubspot is selling you software and services, it’s a company brand. While Danny Brown is a personal brand, he sells advice and skills. That’s why they have different approaches to blogging.

Consider what you are, who your targeted personas are, then set a tone for your blog.

Now that you have a blog for your startup, you will slowly build a group of readers and they will start looking forward to your next content. Taking advantage of this, you can turn them into leads by offering them more free content.

    Put a little box somewhere, preferably strategically at the end of your blog post, then tell them to type in their email to sign up for a weekly newsletter.

Voila, you got your leads.

exit pop

An example of a pop up offering a user more free stuff – Our little effort to share with you awesome contents while asking little in return

Not only that, you can also offer them e-books, guides, checklists, reports etc to download. Once again, all those are awesome ways to gain leads. There is a long list of content that you can create, fit it according to what your personas would like. In return, you gain leads, subscribers who will continue reading your stuff, revenue for your startup and all of that from a little effort of content creating.

2. Build your presence on social media, it’s free!

Social media sites

The next inbound marketing tip concerns social media. Be it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, pick one or more and start building your profile.

It might be too much of a hassle to manage multiple social media accounts. So remember your list of targeted persona? Summon them and ask them which platform they prefer.

Other than that, consider the type of startup you’re owning.

If you’re a florist, Instagram will be excellent to showcase your beautiful bouquets. If you’re a B2B enterprise, Twitter will be a better place to go. While restaurants tend to utilize Facebook.

    Consider what each platform has to offer and which one can benefit your startup the most.

More than 70% of customers consult social media before deciding on a purchase. That’s how integrated social media is to our everyday lives down to decision making.

Consult social media before purchase

What can you post on social media?

  • Announcements: promotional sales, close for the day, special valentine’s day product
  • Daily updates: the dress is just in, perfect weather today for a pint of craft beer
  • Events: like our Facebook page and show us to get a 10% off
  • Behind the scenes: our programmer Wayne is working hard to present you the new chat feature on our homepage
  • Interactions: answer queries, retweet/share/repost positive feedbacks
  • Promotions: a cutout from when you got interviewed by the local newspaper

If you’re a florist, showcase the fresh flowers that are just in. If you’re a restaurant show off your lunchtime crowd. If you’re a B2B enterprise, give quick tips regarding your area of expertise.

Social media platforms are often time awesome places to get feedbacks and gain interaction with the crowd. You can answer their questions, promote positive feedback from customers, chime in on hot social topic and more.

Here’s a Facebook page example of Panzano an Italian restaurant at Denver.

panzano fb

Panzano runs an excellent Facebook page that boost a variety of posts ranging from event announcements to self promotion. It also serves as a platform for testimonials from satisfied customer.

They utilized their Facebook page diversely by posting events being host at their restaurant, showing off their handsome staff team and promoting a recommendation they got from a gastronomy website. They also received a good amount of thank you notes from satisfied customers which serve as free advertisement.

When utilized actively and correctly, social media page can be a powerful inbound marketing technique. It is an important place to establish your startup image and it also doubles as an advertisement platform. There are 1.4 billion active users on Facebook who visits it daily, it’s also free. There’s no reason for you to not utilize it to promote your startup.

3. Get some sprinkle of SEO magic

Inbound marketing technique 3 seo

While SEO might not be as easy (or as hard) as getting a fairy to sprinkle you with fairy dust, there is a wide collection of resources online that tells you how to optimize your website. Consider those as your fairies.

The world of SEO might be foreign and slightly scary but as Moz put it “There are many aspects of SEO, from the words on your page to the way other sites link to you on the web. Sometimes SEO is simply the matter of making sure your site is structured in a way that search engines understand,”.

There they said it. Making search engine understand your site.

SEO technique

I understand that you don’t build your website for the search engine, you build it for people. I preach building a website with “for the people” mindset, that’s what makes a great website.

But if no one ever reaches your site, building it for people may be simply not enough.

Building your startup’s website in accordance with guidelines will do you more good than harm. And more often than not those guidelines were written with “for the people” in mind. So you don’t have to feel contradicted.

Here’s the webmaster guideline from search engine giant Google to help you get started.

If you want to learn more, there are many awesome blogs out there that aim to help out webmasters on SEO. Like Moz, Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable, just to name a few.

Having a properly optimized website has a couple benefits that can boost the success of your startup. As mentioned before, the guideline was written with “for the people” mindset.

So optimizing your website means creating a better browsing experience for your targeted audience.

    The most crucial point of SEO is boosting your SERP ranking. With a boosted ranking, you gain higher exposure, broadening the surface of your funnel.

The number one ranked website on a Google search page gets 33% of traffic . That is A LOT of traffic. Imagine that amount of traffic, the number of leads and the amount of transaction that can happen.

Your startup business will start serving you money, fame, and success in no time.

You don’t need to hire an expert to SEO your website, as mentioned before, there is a lot of free sources on the internet that you can take advantage of and take SEO into your own hands. If you still find it a little intimidating, there’s a lot of inexpensive SEO tools out there that can help you out. Like our SEOPressor WordPress plugin. A little SEO effort can help your startup business in a long way.

4. Make good use of your landing page

inbound marketing landing page

What is a landing page? Let me quote from good old Google “a web page which serves as the entry point for a website or a particular section of a website.”

Yup, couldn’t chain it up better myself. The entry point to your website. The page that the public saw the moment they click on your call-to-action.

Now, think of what you want. What is your motive for having people coming to your landing page? Do you want leads? Do you want them to install your app? Or you want to tell them what your company does?

Now summon up your list of personas again, what do they want from your company? What is their pain point? How should the design be to please them into giving you a try?

I would say keep it focused, straight to the point and please, for the sake of everyone, hassle-free. Here are 7 effective landing page tips that can help you build just that.

If you’re still not sure how well your landing page fare, Wordstream has a landing page grader that pairs up with Google AdWords to give you a good idea of how well your landing page is structured.

If you host your website on WordPress like we do, here are some WordPress landing page templates that can help your startup grow and make things easier for you.

Here’s my pick of a good landing page.

Landbot is a company that builds chatbots. They tell you all that by letting you chat with one directly. I call them absolutely brilliant.

landbot landing page

Landot’s landing page tells you what they do by showing you exactly what they do, and with humor.

Your startup might not build nor utilize chatbots, but that’s not the point. The point is your landing page needs to…

  • has a purpose
  • is easy to navigate
  • interests potential customers
  • optimized

Think of landing page as the first impression. You would definitely want to impress your date with everything you got and leave a good impression, right? So why would you make a less than up par landing page and leave your personas with a bad impression? By working on your landing page, you can convince more potential customers to stay and turn them into real customers for your startup business.

5. Remarketing, the ultimate personalized form of marketing

inbound marketing remarketing

Ever clicked on a product page, not buying, exit and see an ad displaying the exact product on another website days after? Yup, you’re being remarketed.

To put it clearly, remarketing works by putting a cookie to the browsers of those who visited your website. Then based on your chosen criteria, a group of audience is shown ads highlighting your products or company while they’re out browsing other websites.

Though you may wonder isn’t advertising an outbound marketing technique instead of inbound marketing technique?

Well, this actually works more like a booster to your inbound marketing rather than a part of your inbound marketing. When employed timely and accurately with a bit of research and planning. Remarketing can magnify your inbound marketing effectiveness in ten folds.

There are a lot of companies out there who offer this service like HubSpot, Criteo, and Google AdWords to name a few.

    The advantage of remarketing is you can establish a more personalized and relevant advertising via effective targeting.

You are showing ads to a group who has shown interest and visited your homepage. You are showing ads to someone who has once considered buying from you. That is better than mindlessly advertising to a big crowd who may not care what you have to offer at all.

retargeting

Me being re-targeted across mutiple websites. Guess who was just checking out flight tickets on AirAsia a few days ago?

You can even further specify your targeted audience and how ads appear via different settings based on which company you employed. You can decide to show them an ad for a product that they have viewed before, now with a special discounted price because it’s Christmas, trice a week. That’s how crazily customized remarketing can get.

However, in order to achieve the level of effective personalization and customization, you will need to work with a lot of data and carefully planned strategies. So be clear with your goal and expectation in mind before plummeting into remarketing.

Here’s an awesome article to AdWords remarketing practices that you can make use of if you decide to utilize this tactic.

With a little investment, researching, and planning, remarketing can be the best friend to your inbound marketing. So why not give it a try, it might just be the boost that your startup needs.

 successful startup

Now that you know the 5 inbound marketing techniques. It’s time to put your skill to the test and be on your way to become the owner of a successful startup!

Guide in Becoming The Perfect Inbound Marketer

  • 10 must-have qualities of a perfect inbound marketer.
  • Proven examples on applying the best inbound marketing techniques.
  • Compact guide with less fluff!

Updated: 14 October 2018

Lo Jia Thong

About Lo Jia Thong

A polyglot plummeted into the deep blue world of SEO and inbound marketing armed with a burning passion on letters and a fascination on how thing rolls in the world wide web.

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